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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 29, 2006 / 8 Teves, 5767

A dangerous obsession, Part Part IV

By Thomas Sowell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One of the questions often asked by those obsessed with income "gaps" and "disparities" is: "Is anyone really worth the millions of dollars a year that some people receive as personal income?"


Such a question presupposes that there is such a thing as "real" worth. That assumption goes back to the Middle Ages, when people thought that there was a "fair and just price" for things.


But if there were an objective value — whether of goods or of labor — then economic transactions would make no sense.


When you buy a computer, the only reason you part with your money is that the computer is worth more to you than the money. But the only reason someone sells you the computer is that the money is worth more to them than the computer.


The difference in value of the same thing to different people is the whole basis for economic transactions. If there was any such thing as an objective value, these transactions would make no sense. Why bother making an exchange if what you get is no more valuable to you than what you give?


If there is an objective value of a computer that is greater than what is being paid for it, then the seller has been cheated and is a fool to keep making such transactions. Similarly if the objective value is less than what is paid: The buyer is a fool to keep buying something that is not worth its price.

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It is the same story when Derek Jeter gets paid millions of dollars to play shortstop for the Yankees. He gains by exchanging his time and skills for the money that George Steinbrenner pays him. But Steinbrenner also gains by paying Jeter to play shortstop — which helps bring in more money in gate receipts, the sale of television rights, and other sources of revenue.


As for the rest of us, it is none of our business what Steinbrenner pays Jeter. It's their deal. If we don't understand it, there is no reason why our ignorance should influence what happens.


The medieval notion that there is an objective "fair and just price" dies hard, though even in medieval times St. Thomas Aquinas saw some of the problems with the idea.


The British classical economists of the 18th and early 19th centuries saw cost of production as an objective basis for prices. But, since the 1870s, economists around the world have recognized that value is subjective, and have incorporated that into their analysis of prices, based on supply and demand.


If something costs more to produce than people are willing to pay, then the producer just loses money. But a principle that seems obvious, after it has been articulated, may take generations to evolve and be incorporated into our thinking.


Yet here we are, in the 21st century, still talking about whether people are paid more or less than they are "really" worth — and we are hot to give government the power to "do something" if we don't understand why some people are paid so much or so little.


If ignorance is bad, confusion is worse. Productivity, for example, is often confused with merit.


If Derek Jeter worked like a dog for years to perfect his skills as a baseball player, some might think that he had earned the big bucks he gets. But if he was just born with natural talent and the whole thing is a breeze to him, that would mean he didn't really merit such a huge payoff.


But Steinbrenner is not paying for Jeter's merit. He is paying for his productivity, whether at bat or in the field. Somebody who worked twice as hard and was still only half as good would never get the same money that Jeter gets.


Many poverty-stricken people in the Third World work harder than most Americans work but, for a number of reasons, they don't produce as much. That is why these countries are poor.


Transferring wealth from 300 million Americans and spreading it out over more than two billion people in India and China is not going to do much. But enabling more people in India or China to become more productive can help them and us — and has.


Multinational corporations are among the biggest spreaders of greater productivity to Third World countries and they usually pay higher wages than local employers. But moral exhibitionists who are hot for the redistribution of other people's money are among the biggest critics of multinational corporations. .

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